Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

STEM Education Seminar: Dr. Megan Wawro


Faculty, Staff, Graduate & Professional Students, Postdoctoral Fellows, Undergraduates

Event Time 

Friday, March 30, 2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

Location Name and Address 

Sloane Physics Lab Room 56
217 Prospect Street
New Haven , CT

Event Topic: 

Student Reasoning about Linear Algebra in Quantum Physics

Event Description 

Dr. Megan Wawro, Associate Professor of Mathematics at Virginia Tech

Title: Student Reasoning about Linear Algebra in Quantum Physics

Abstract: In this talk Dr. Wawro will discuss (i) students’ meta-representational competence as demonstrated during semi-structured individual interviews, with particular attention to the students’ critique of the adequacy of matrix and Dirac notation and their suitability for various tasks (diSessa, 2004); and (ii) the conceptually challenging notion of linear combination of eigenvectors and effective ways for developing a conceptual understanding of eigenspace. Dr. Wawro will share data from her LinAl-P (NSF CAREER 1452889) project which focuses on students’ understanding, symbolization, and interpretation of eigentheory as well as related ideas from linear algebra in quantum mechanics. The goal of this project is to contribute to the NRC’s (2012) DBER Report call for research that investigates students’ understanding of cross cutting concepts in undergraduate STEM courses, in order to better understand the coherence in students’ learning experience across STEM disciplines.

View the poster for the event here.

View the slides from the event here.